Saturday, September 29 – Ribchester

This weekend is Tom’s return visit and he is spending tonight at our place.  At 10.15am he turned up (in the rain) and after a light lunch we started out to view the ‘Lions’ of Ribblesdale.  A heavy downfall of rain caused us to put our capes on, but, on Belmont Road, they came off again.  We took the third class moorland road through Tockholes, getting lost at Darwen, but we soon righted ourselves, however, and skirting Blackburn we gained the Whalley road.  Soon I punctured, and a quarter of an hour was lost in repairing it.  Arriving at Copster Green we decided to have lunch at the well known CTC place there.  Mrs Sawer kept us with her busy tongue until 3pm.

Two miles brought us to Whalley, where a gateway of the famous Abbey was explored, afterwards going on to Great Mitton with its famous church.  At Lower Hodder we viewed the famous Roman Bridge, then, climbing steeply, made for Stoneyhurst College.  A terrific shower again drove us into our capes as we approached the village.  A private? road led us right up to the College, where we stood for ten minutes conjecturing on its age, etc.  On our way past the great statue (“Ave Maria”) the rain ceased, and the capes were put away for the rest of the day.  A little way beyond Hurst Green we stopped at the village church, but could not gain admission, so we remounted and rode off.

A steep drop followed, and coming onto the Ribchester road, we turned off to Stydd.  The old almshouses here are very interesting, as is the church, which has been mentioned before in these pages.  Arriving at Ribchester, we made our way through the narrow street past the ‘White Bull’, (whose sign is distinctly wooden and is dated 1707), and thus to the Museum of Roman Remains.  Entering we had a very interesting half hour looking round the place, and our guide showed us the recent excavations of the granary.  A detailed account will be found at the end of this year [regrettably never set down for us to read].

After a walk round the church yard (again the church was closed) we made for Longridge.  On this road I again punctured but this was found to be due to my carelessness in twisting the tube whilst replacing it on the Whalley road.  From Longridge we took the good main road for Preston, lighting up before we reached that place.  Then Walton le Dale for tea.  The road back to Chorley leaves much to be desired for surface.  A lane route brought us to Horwich, and then Bolton for 10.30pm.  This ride is very interesting for anyone who takes interest in antiquities, and is hard to beat for so short a distance.

66 miles, 11.5 hours